Northwest Review - Week 13

     The first season of cross country came to a brilliant end in Washington and Oregon on Saturday.   Washington had some remarkable times, which were allowed by almost ideal conditions, although it was quite brisk for the early races.   Oregon runners had to suffer through a cold downpour, which made the course a mess and prevented the harriers from showing what they could really do.   Still, no matter what the weather, there was much to be said for both state meets.

     We’ll start with Washington, which had a number of special and historic events.   Maddie Meyers of The Northwest School in Seattle got the day rolling with her victory in the 1A division.   She broke away early, so the victory was never in question, and it was made even more interesting, when her team mate Hazel Carr, followed her across the finish line in second place.  The main significance of Maddie’s triumph, however, was that she became the first person in State history to win four successive State titles in cross country.   The accomplishment is quite rare but Maddie joined an exclusive club, which includes the likes of Suzy-Favor Hamilton & Carrie Tollefson.  It should be noted that, while the fourth title was certainly a goal, Maddie has others for this season, and she is gearing her efforts for a third run at Foot Locker Nationals.   Lakeside won the team title, led by Lindy Jacobsen’s sixth place effort of 18:53, with a low of 53 points, second with 86.  Jess Mildes, who was edged for second by Carr, headed the Riverside effort.   Mildes was clocked in 18:37.7 and the team scored 86 points to edge Northwest, which finished third with 92.

      Marina Roberts of Kingston set the pace early in the race with only Brittany Gappa of Squalicum staying with her.   Both girls tired late in the race and Emily Pettis of Sehome swept by Roberts at the three mile mark and then sped to victory in a time of 18:17.   Reagen Colyer of North Kitsap followed Pettis’ move to garner second in a time of 18:19.  The valiant Roberts placed third with 18:23 and was followed by Sanne Holland, who ran18:25.  Brittany Gappa was sixth with 18:26.   The team race was reasonably close with Cheney topping Sehome 71 to 78 & Interlake was third with 137.

    Katie Knight of North Central & Amy-Eloise Neale of Glacier Peak are friendly rivals, who have faced each other fairly often including their freshman and sophomore years in the 3A division of the State meet in Pasco.   Once the gun sounds, however, that friendship is put on hold and it is time to race and Saturday’s edition was no different.   The pair were in front after only about a hundred meters and only Foot Locker finalist Kendra Weitz, accepted the challenge to stay with them.  Neale had won the race in 2009 & 2010 and had established a new record with her time of 17:31 last fall and she appeared intent on setting a new one, so it was Neale, who pressed the pace, as they went through the mile in 5:26 or so.   Kendra was stilling hanging on at that point and it was a good gap back to the chase pack.  There was little change at the two mile, which was reached in 11:04.  Katie, who had stated prior to the race that something (in her tactics) had to change and she soon after countered with a series of surges, which Amy-Eloise accepted.    Kendra, who has suffered on and off with a number of problems throughout the season, like at the Tracy Walters, fell off the pace, while Knight surged once again at 2.5 miles.   Finally Neale did not respond and Knight pulled away to sweep home in a stunning time of 17:11.  Knight had obliterated the record and claimed her first XC championship.   The margin of victory was a surprise, especially since Amy-Eloise ‘s time of 17:29 was two seconds under the course record.  

    Alexa Efraimson has had a very fine year with a third at Danner (17:58 – only Maddie Meyers & Colorado champion Jordan Colter were ahead), fourth at Sunfair plus a win at Westside – and on Saturday she sped to a third place finish in a PR of 17:56.  Certainly any time under eighteen minutes is national class and the Camas runner, who led her team to an upset victory over nationally ranked Glacier Peak, deserves notice.   Stephanie Rexus of Kamiakin raced by numerous signs imploring her to go and go she did with her fourth place finish in 18:15.  Katie Bianchini of Glacier Peak was two seconds back with fifth place in hand and Katia Matora of Mercer Island was sixth.  Austin Reiter (18:50) & Megan Napier (18:52) secured crucial 7th & 8th place finishes for Camas to aid in the team upset of GP & Mackenzie Bachmeier of Yelm earned ninth with 18:53.   Andrea Masterson of Lakeside & Michelle Fletcher of Kamiakin rounded out the top eleven.   As noted earlier Camas surprised Glacier Peak in the team race with a narrow 58 to 60 victory.  Peninsula ended up third with 118.

     Jordan McPhee of Mt. Rainier is yet another runner, who has not received the credit due her, yet after the 4A State meet she remains undefeated.   She added the State title to a first season collection that includes Bellarmine, Fort Steilacoom, Richland & the Westside Classic.   Like Katie Knight it is not just the victories but the times as well and in Pasco, Jordan stormed to the front, rushed through the mile (5:29) and then essentially maintained that pace through an 11:07 two mile before  zipping home in 17:25.  She had broken the course record with no help at all and she deserves credit for a superb race.   Alexis Fuller of Union, who is another runner with a very fine freshman season, including a divisional victory at Danner, garnered second with a fine 18:08, while Chandler Olson, who led the pack for the better part of the race, earned third with 18:21.  Megan LaGresley of Redmond, yet another freshman, took fifth with 18:23.  Alexia Martin of Kent Meridian & Rachel Atwood of Auburn Riverside claimed sixth & seventh respectively, while Abby Atchison of Tahoma was 8th.  Kelsey Dunn, also from Redmond, came home ninth, Jordin Stevenson of Stanwood followed in ninth and Natalie Sharp of Garfield was 11th.   The team race went to Tahoma, which had a total of 88 points, while Bellarmine placed second with 99 edging Redmond by a point.   It was a solid display of pack running by the Bellarmine squad, whose top runner Hannah Derby (18:55) was 18th.

     Morgan Wilson won the 2B race by almost 50 seconds, as she raced alone to victory with a time of 18:36.   The Colfax runner was never challenged.  Sierra Speiker of Oroville ran 19:25 and had a sizable gap before Elizabeth Weber & Hailey Bredeson of Northwest Christian-Lacey finished third & fourth to lead their team to a triumph with a low of 30 points.  Reardan with 94 was a distant second and Asotin took third with 99.

     As fine as some of the girls’ races were, the young ladies had not cornered the market in stellar performances and the guys’ 3A was one for the ages.   Other than some concerns about physical problems there was no surprise in seeing Anthony Armstrong and Nathan Weitz go at it from the start.  It was a bit of a surprise to see Izaic Yorks of Lakes prove that he not only belonged with the pair but also in the national conversation as well.  In some ways it should not have been a surprise, for Izaic had raced well all season and was Impressive in the Westside Classic the previous weekend.  Izaic had even stated, that he intended to be in the race with Armstrong, but still there was a bit of skepticism on my part.   After his performance on Saturday there is no doubt that Yorks has proved he belongs.    When Armstrong & Weitz made their expected move early, Izaic moved with them.   Even more impressive was the fact that he was not content to simply stay with his rivals.   Yorks took the race to the pair and assured that the pace was hot.   Even Armstrong of Kamiakin & Weitz from Shadle Park were a bit surprised by their company, yet quickly realized it was indeed a three man race and Yorks was not going to be fading.    It was only near the three mile mark, when Izaic gave way but he had proved his point and the fact that he belonged in the national conversation.    Nathan had set the tone for the furious finish by putting in an early spurt but Anthony rallied late and swept passed his friend and rival before the wire.  The end results was an almost unbelievable time of 14:58 for the winner & 14:59 for the place finisher:  a time that was almost unthinkable given that Shane Moskowitz had finally broken the long standing record a couple of years ago with his 15:06.   Izaic Yorks may have been a bit tired after his hard work but he too went under Shane’s mark by racing in with 5:05.  

      Jody Hardy of Seattle Prep & Curtis King of Peninsula waged their own private duel for fourth with Hardy getting the nod, as both were credited with 15:21.  Keith Williams of North Central was right on their tail with his 15:22 and Mt. Spokane’s Hunter Johnson earned 7th with 15:26.   Kai Wilmot finished 8th with 15:33 coming in four seconds ahead of Jake Hombel of University.  Keenan Piper of Seattle Prep & John Fowler of Bellevue rounded out the top eleven.   As expected, North Central again won the team title:   this time with 59 points.   Seattle Prep nipped Kamiakin 80 to 81 for second and Bellevue’s sixth man, Nick MacLean, made the difference for his team, which took fourth on the tie-breaker.

     With a freshman, Tristan Peloquin, and two sophomores, Wolfgang Beck & Logan Carroll, the future had looked bright for Gig Harbor but, while the future appears bright for those three youngsters down the road, the time was certainly now for the team,   The Tides rolled to victory over Eisenhower 55 to78, as senior captains Casey Peloquin & Will Drinkwater provided support as well as leadership to the team.  Henry Jackson with 129 points placed third ahead of Wenatchee, which had 143.   However impressive the youth movement was, it was the upper classmen individuals, who dominated the race up front and Andrew Gardner of Mead & Jacob Smith of Wenatchee had the starring roles.    Although the race appeared up for grabs at the mile mark the duo sped away from the rest of the field and soon battled alone well ahead of the rest.   Gardner, a Foot Locker finalist, appeared to have the race in hand until late in the race, when Jacob Smith found some reserve strength & over-hauled the leader.   We have been touting Smith ever since his race at US Junior Nationals in San Diego last February, and on Saturday he claimed his first State XC championship.   Smith’s time of 15:03 was also under the course record, while Gardner ’s  15:07.1 was just off.   We can only hope that Jacob races against our nation’s best in Foot Locker for round two of the Smith – Gardner duel.

      Santos Vargas of Eisenhower was forced to race alone in the wake of the leaders, yet still ran a fine time of 15:13 in taking third.   Korey Krotzer, who has won the Westside Classic the last two years, seemed intent on placing fourth for the second straight year until Wolfgang Beck passed him late in the race.  Although Krotzer had to dig deep at the end to defeat his young rival, THE Auburn Riverside ace finished fourth once again, as he edged Beck 15:18.5 by .4 seconds.     Wenatchee’s Nicholas Boersma started the campaign with a bang at the Sundodger Invitational and ended it in the same manner by securing sixth in a fine 15:24.   Sumner Goodwin of Lewis & Clark came in seventh with 15:29 and Colby Gilbert followed in 15:34, as he ran his best race of the season at the right time.   The Skyview runner edged Alex Kinsey of Ferris by half a second & Jaziel Rodriguez of Eisenhower garnered tenth.   Tristan Peloquin followed with his 11th place finish in 15:37 and Keegan Symmes of Skyline earned 12th.   Henry Jackson freshman ran 15:45 in taking 17th and with a time like that would normally have been expected to be the top ninth-grader.    It was that kind of year! 

      It was a three man duel in the 2A race between Poli Balthazar of Aberdeen, Marcus Dickson of White River & Patrick Gibson of Squalicum.   Dickson led through the mile and then Balthazar controlled the next mile or so for the most part.   At  two-and-a-half Marcus Dickson fought back to go to the front but  in the end it was all Gibson after he stormed into the lead and then raced away.  His final time of 15:28 gave him a five second margin over Balthazar, who in turn held a two second gap over Dickson.  Dayde Collins of Deer park claimed fourth (15:43) & Conner Johnson (15:45) of Sehome was sixth.   Daniel Amann, also from Deer Park, earned sixth & Jeffrey Ott of Ellensburg secured seventh with 15:46 a second later.   White River ‘s Kody Gould ran 15:58 to nip Sean Eustis of Washougal for eighth and Mitchell Montgomery followed in tenth.   Lindbergh, whose top runners placed 18th, 19th & 21st & was led by Luke Garcia, gave a fine display of pack running.   Lindbergh topped Sehome by a point 112 to 113, while Deer Park was third with 148.

     Hap Emmons triumphed in the 1A race.   The King’s runner ran 15:44 to beat David Goldstone of Charles Wright Academy, who ran 15:55.  Ruben Riordan, also from Wright, earned third, while Stephen Bottoms followed in fourth a second later in 16:05.  Lakeside easily won the 1A race with a low of 79 points.  Colville & King’s placed second & third but were only a point apart with Colville’s 108 getting the nod.     Lucas Graham of Northwest Christian was timed in 16:17, as he defeated second place finisher Chase Teigen of Asotin, who ran 16:24.  Zack Speiker of Oroville placed third in 16:33 to join his sister in making it a very solid day for their family.


                                                                Oregon State Championships


Poor weather once again greeted the runners at the meet making an exceptional time nigh on to impossible, so the task at hand was to concentrate on race position, which would allow for the best chance to triumph.   This is noted in starting this commentary, so there is no temptation to compare times between Oregon & Washington.   Times aside there was much to appreciate at the meet, which once again was hosted at Lane Community College, as it has been since 1970, at least for boys.

       The Summit girls etched their name into the history books, when they overwhelmed their 5a competition with a near perfect score of sixteen points.   It tied the lowest mark for teams of either sex, which Crater had set, also in the 5A division, in 2007.   In fact in all the history of the meet only two other teams had ever scored 21 points or lower:  Summit in 2009 in 5A and Bend in 1992.  In fairness to the Bend girls it should be added this was well before the state went division happy:  apparently it is dangerous, when officials learn to multiply.   The lowest total for a male team, incidentally, is the23 points cranked out by Central Catholic in 2005.

       The victory by Summit was hardly a surprise, as we have long ago stated they were the finest team in the northwest but the magnitude of their victory was beyond what had been anticipated.   Megan Fristoe was the favorite going into the event and even though she had company, she left no doubt that she intended to claim her third straight title.   Her time of 18:07 saw her come in by herself with the best time of the day.    Going into the race speculation was that Megan’s toughest competition might come from her team mates and Ashley Maton and Piper McDonald lived up to that billing.   They along with Shannon Susbauer of Milwaukie & Morgan Anderson of Silverton stayed with the leader for a spell before falling back and waging their own duel.   Maton followed Megan across the finish line in 18:30, while the freshman McDonald earned third with 18:37.   Sara Fristoe trailed early in the race before threading her way through the pack prior to coming through for the Storm in a big way with her fourth place effort of 19:49.  

     The Summit sweep was stopped by two girls, who like Sara, have worked very hard to improve over the years:  Shannon Susbauer and Morgan Anderson.   Shannon did not qualify for State in either of her first two years and had a break-out as a junior, when she finished 8th.   She has had a fine season and her fifth place effort was another event that was nice to see.   Silverton’s Morgan Anderson is another runner, whose dedication & improvement are noteworthy.   Morgan did not qualify as a freshman but did place 24th in ’09 & 20th in ’10.  A strong summer regime allowed her to be a big part of the racing season & her final placement at seventh was no fluke.   At time there is a tendency to follow the leaders and overlook those, who follow yet Sara, Shannon & Morgan are a wonderful story on their own merit & should be a shining example for younger runners, who want to improve.    Following that trio was Kira Kelly, who has been an integral part of the Summit team the last three years (14th in ’10 & 12th in ’09) and she made her final trip to State her best with a seventh place finish which gave Summit its final total.   Brigid Behrens, who has been a consistent performer for Corvallis over the years placed eighth and Bend’s Jenna Mattox once again earned a spot on the podium with her ninth place finish, as she led her team to a second place finish.   Wilsonville’s Taryn Rawlings came in tenth and Emma Wrenn of Cleveland rounded out the top eleven.   Marist’s 103 points found it just two points behind Bend & in third place, while Cleveland & Corvallis came in 4th & 5th respectively.   

      Speculation in the 6A girls’ race was centered on whether Jesuit could extend its winning streak, which went back to 2002, and, who would succeed the Crusader’s Annamarie Maag after her three year reign.   South Eugene’s Sara Tsai & Erin Clark led the way early but it was Paige Rice of St. Mary’s Academy, who led at the tape.   Her time of 18:09 saw her garner a one second victory over Tsai, while Erin Clark placed third with a mark of 18:17.   While Sara & Erin did not claim the individual victory they, along with Paige Kouba, who contributed an invaluable ninth place effort, led their South Salem team to triumph with a low of 53 points.   It was, as noted, the first time anyone had topped Jesuit in years.   The last team to turn the trick was South Eugene in 2001, when Erin Gray & Sarah Pearson led the Axewomen.   Appropriately there was a certain symmetry in the fact that Sarah Pearson is now a coach for SE.

       Sarah Hastings had a strong final State race for Crater with her fourth place effort in 18:24.   With Hastings’ help Crater was able to place second in the team race with 63 points, which gave it a seven point margin over Jesuit.   Kelly O’ Neill of Lakeridge , who placed 10th & 5th as a sophomore & a freshman, again made the awards stand with her fifth place finish & freshman Gracie Todd of Sheldon earned sixth with 18:39.   Gracie Tostenson of Crater placed seventh, Claire DeVoe of Lincoln was eighth just ahead of Paige Kouba.   Lauren Morgan of South Medford earned tenth and Adrienne Demaree garnered eleventh for the Crusaders.     Erin Gregoire of Beaverton came in twelfth ahead of Maggie Schmaedick of Sheldon, who has had a shorter training period than most due to injury, while Karen Qu finished 14th to lead Sunset.   Emily Weber of South Salem placed 15th for the sixth place Saxons and Olivia Artaiz of Jesuit took 16th.   The final members of the top twenty were Dylan Hite of Jesuit, Sarah Fahmy of Sunset, Sarah Medved of Westview and Kristen Coffman of Tualatin.

     Two-time title honors went to Alisha Luna of Klamath Union, who ran 18:32.  Sierra Brown of Hidden Valley was the only other runner in the division to break nineteen minutes with her 18:57, while Katy Potter of Siuslaw claimed third with 19:23.    Scappoose won the team title 82 to 83 over Klamath and Sisters placed third ahead of LaSalle.    As expected the 3A race was a duel between Olivia Powell of Creswell & Katriel O’ Reilly of Union but Powell ‘s 18:57 earned the championship.   O’ Reilly finished with 19:04 & was followed by her team mate McKenzie Evans and Union came away the victor in the team battle over Catlin Gable 80 to 124.

      Travis Neuman had the fastest time of the day for all Oregon runners, when he laid claim to the 5A title.     His victory was not all that easy, as Jackson Baker of Franklin, a multiple winner this season, gave chase most of the way before losing ground late in the race to the ultimate winner Neuman, who was timed in 15:32.   Baker’s valiant effort was not rewarded, because, as he tired, Alex Dillard of The Dalles-Wahtonka surged & caught him at the finish line, as both were credited with 15:36.   Although it always hurts a bit to see a run like Jackson’s fail to be rewarded Alex has had a fine season in his own right and must be credited with a very solid effort.   Eduardo Juarez of Hermiston led the Bull Dogs with his fourth place effort in 15:52 & Akiharu Kitagawa of Wilsonville earned fifth in 16:04.  Eric Aldritt of Summit, who led the race for a time, took sixth a second later & Ryan Byrd of St. Helens finished seventh in  16:06.   Jose Macias of Hermiston made a late charge and was credited with edging Franklin’s Fletcher Hazelhurst & and Alejandro Cisneros  - all of whom were credited with 16:11.  That verdict is certainly debatable after looking at pictures of the finish but that is racing.   Javier Velasco was the fourth Hermiston runner in the top eleven but Summit runners Matthew Maton & Sammy Naffziger claimed 12th & 13th to put the Storm back on track & Luke Hinz of Summit, who garnered 16th after Chris Hinkle of Cleveland & Ty James of Wilsonville, put the Storm over the top.   The end result saw the Summit guys’ join the girls on the victory stand.  Their total of 44 points earned a narrow eight point victory of defending champion Hermiston.   The battle between Wilsonville & Franklin for third was also close but Wilsonville edged their rival 104 to 109.

     Kyle Thompson of Central Catholic is only a sophomore but he became 6A champion with his time of 15:41.   In triumph he joins a Ram cast of champions this century, who include Galen Rupp, Kenny Klotz & Taylor Morgan.   Brian Einstad of South Eugene ran 15:48, which was good for a solid second, and he led his team to victory over Central Catholic by a score of 56 to 77.  Defending champion Crater placed third with 93 points and Jesuit followed just behind in fourth with 97.    Dan Oekerman of Beaverton had a fine race placing third with 15:52.  Only a junior Dan has his second top ten finish after being 8th last fall.   Neil Seibert led Crater with his fourth place finish (15:55) and Nathan Normo of Lake Oswego had a big race finishing sixth with the same essential time.  David Leavy claimed sixth to lead Jesuit and he had the distinction of being the last runner in the division to break sixteen minutes with his 15:59.  Jon Obeso of Crater came across the line 7th & was followed by Jack Wilson of South Eugene in 8th.   Julian Heninger of Lakeridge earned ninth, while Joe Holvey of South Eugene rounded out the top ten.  Eleventh place went to Mubarek Mebrat of Lakeridge and Reilly Bloomer contributed to the Axemen triumph with his 12th place effort.   Jacob Campbell of Barlow took 13th and Sam Truax of CC, but a freshman, secured 14th.    Jackson Haselnus of Barlow placed 15th and was followed home by Hunter McGuirk of Jesuit.    One sidelight for the division is the fact that since 2002 a Central Catholic or Jesuit team has always placed at least second and this year was no different and in fact the only year that neither made it to at least second this century was 2001, when Bend & Klamath Union topped the stands.

     The 4A race saw Paul Adams of Mazama and defending champion Zorg Loustalet of Henley throw repeated surges at each other.   Adams survived the duel to claim first in a time of 15:48 but a tired Loustalet (16:00) fell prey to the final moves of the Siuslaw duo of Matthew Campbell (15:54) & Mitchell Butler  (15:57)and Jonathan Cornish of North Valley earned fifth.     Siuslaw, as anticipated, had no trouble in claiming the team title and the final score showed Siuslaw with a low of 36 to top North Valley, which had 87.   Henley & LaSalle battled for third with Henley taking the verdict 134 to 148. 

       Joseph Ewers of Central Linn ran 16:02 to best the 3A field.   Ryan Maag of Nyssa (16:14) edged Zach Holloway (16:16) of Central Linn for second and Nick Obletz of Oregon Episcopal took fourth with 16:21.  Conner Garcia ‘s fifth place mark of 16:29 led Valley Catholic to the team title with 73 points to best Pleasant Hill, which had 104.   Union placed third with 109 points.   Hudson Eustace of Cascade Christian ran 16:30 to garner sixth.


                                                                                News from Around the Nation


                                                                                New Jersey


Liam Mullett took advantage of the absence of Edward Cheserek in the State Prep meet, Cheserek had a slightly strained hamstring, which he decided to rest, and ran away from the field.   His time of 16:36 gave him a 20 second margin over Nyall Islam.   Kate Lieb won the girls’ race.    The race was held on Wednesday.


Edward Cheserek returned from his brief precautionary layoff to win the N J Catholic Championships.   His time of 15:18 at Warinanco Park set another course record – his sixth of this fall.  The second place finisher Rob Napolitano was over a minute behind with 16:26.   Tess Keller won the girls’ race.  


Tim Ball broke away from a strong Section 2 – Group 4 field and won with a time of 15:50:  a mark, which ties the record of Cliff Sheehan in 1980 (Sheehan placed 14th in the second edition of Foot Locker in 1980).  Dana Giordano ran 18:41 in the girls’ race to top Tara Hanley.   (The course record for comparison sake is 18:22 by Jodie Bilotta, who was a three time Foot Locker finalist with a best of 10th in 1985).


Megan Lacy swept through the South Jersey Group 4 race in 17:37 for the 3.1 mile course to claim her second straight title.  Dina Iancone finished in 2nd place in 18:16.


Blake Udland was the star at the Group 3 championships.   Udland scored his second straight title with 16:21. He also kept Milburn ‘s individual streak alive with five champions from the team in a row.  


Holly Bischoff ran 18:08 to win her Sectional.


In yet another section Steve Lewandowski won his third title with 15:50 & Ariana North led with 18:20.


                                                                Arizona State Meet


Sarah Fakler ran 17:48 to easily defeat Tory Haberman, who ran 18:14.   Bernie Montoya topped the guys with 15:46, while Ryan Silva claimed second in 15:57.



Haley Pierce and Julie Macedo are not only Delaware’s top runners but are two of America’s best but at the New Castle County championship a lesson in how not to run.   The two waged their own individual duel from the beginning of the race and opened up a huge gap over any would-be challengers.   They had only 250 meters to go, when Pierce collapsed (she did not finish the race either).   With Pierce out of the race the pace finally took its toll on Macedo, who began to struggle visibly and Reagan Anderson of Tatnall, who had been well  behind, swept past the faltering Macedo to win the championship with a time of  18:04.  Macedo followed in second in 18:09.   In spite of losing it’s leader Pierce Tatnall still won the team race 26 to 75.     Sam Parsons took the boys’ title with 15:52 topping Stephen Garrett, who ran 15:57.


                                                                Ohio State Meet


Tsehaye Hiluf had one of the best times of the day in running 15:21.  The course is flat unlike the challenging undulations of Scioto Downs, which due to the addition of slot machines, is no longer open to high school students, so time comparisons are invalid.   Sam Wharton took 2nd with 15:24, while the 3rd & 4th runners (Willy Fink & Nick Pupino) both added a second to the running time, when they finished.   Claudia Saunders of Cincinnati Princeton topped all girls with her clocking of 18:04.   Elyse Bierut was second in 18:08.   Sam Prakel won Division 3 with 15:19, as Ryan Polman placed 2nd in 15:24.   Steven Weaver was the fastest of the Division two guys with 15:25.   In other girls divisions Sarra Taylor won Division II in 18:19 with Samantha Bockoven earning 2nd in 18:28.   Brittany Atkinson led Division III with 18:27.


                                                                Rhode Island State Meet


Molly Keating became the first Rhode Island girl to win three straight tiles in history, although her total of three overall ties Nancy Krowlewski, who won three but not consecutively.  Molly’s time was 18:24, which gave her a half-minute margin over Paige Ethier, who finished in second.   Mike Marsella, who is currently nationally ranked, had no problem with his in-state rivals, when he claimed victory in 15:50.  Jake Kilcoyne placed second in 16:02, Trevor Crawley was 16:13 & Dan Kilcoyne earned fourth with 16:17.


                                                                Michigan Lower Peninsula Championship


Foot Locker finalist Erin Finn (17:22) had a surprising struggle before she won the Lower Peninsula championship, as Taylor Manett (17:24.0) & Hannah Meier (17:24.1) were close behind her.   Garret Zuk claimed the boys’ title with 15:21, three seconds ahead of Brian Kettle, who had a four second margin over Nick Renberg. 


                                                                North Carolina State Meet


Samantha George zipped home in 17:31, while Mark Blackmon went 15:34 for titles.

                                                Minnesota State Meet


Josh Thorson & Riley Macon went 1 -2:  Josh winning by 10 seconds in 15:29.  Marja Hauger nipped Jamie Piepenburg 14:04.1 to .8 for the girls’ 4K title.


                                                                New Hampshire State Meet


Dylan Lafond won with 15:41 & Chris Cogliano took 2nd with 15:48.   Courtney Hawkins time of 18:34 saw her cross the line six seconds ahead of Liz Conway.


                                                                Pennsylvania State Meet


Angel Piccirillo, another Foot Locker finalist, won the AA race with 18:31 defeating Kennedy Weiser, who ran 18:52.   Brendan Shearn trumped the boys in that division with 16:15 beating Luke Jones by two seconds.    The AAA race saw Meghan McGovern cross the line first with 18:28 with Hannah Grossman two seconds behind her.  Other runners of note included Sara Sargent (7th – 18:55) & Tori Gerlach (12th – 19:03).   Conner Quinn triumphed with 16:03 and Daniel Jaskowak followed with 16:06.  Third place went to Brett Kelly in 16:10.      


                                                                New Mexico State Meet


Luis Martinez swept across the finish in 15:41 to triumph in the boys’ race, as Antonio Varela secured second in 15:59.   The girls only run two miles sadly and a time of 12:36 was all that was needed to win the 4A title by Jenna ThurmanRachel Fledderman ran 12:39 for 3A, while small-school (2A) winner Carolyn Kaufman had the best time for al girls with her mark of 12:34.


                                                                Illinois State Meet  (3 Miles)


Leland Later annexed the boys’ title with his clocking of 14:17, which saw him breaking the tape ten seconds ahead of Alex Riba.   Malachy Schrobilgen earned third with 18:28.  Amanda Fox continued her late season roll with a victory in 16:24.  Ariel Michalek took 2nd in 16:37, while Kaylee Flanagan (16:43) & Courtney Acherman garnered third & fourth respectively.   Jill Hardies had an off day & placed back in the pack.


                                                                New York Sectionals


In Section III National leader held two of its top five out and still romped.  Jillian Fanning of FM won in 18:01.  Laura Leff broke up the FM pack with her 2nd place effort of 18:17.  Katie Sischo took 3rd with 18:45.   Nick Ryan had no trouble in the boys’ division with his 15:34, as Matt Deyo came in at 16:17.


#2 ranked Saratoga had no trouble in Section II action, although their top runner had an off day.  Taylor Driscoll of the Spa topped her team mate Keelin Hollowood by nine seconds as she finished in 17:21.  Shen’s Liz Predmore also had an off day but still qualified for the next round with her third place effort in 17:31.   Mike Lebruk of Shaker led the way for the young men with his 15:13.  Jon Vellecorsa placed second and Christian Delago was third.                                            


                                                                Tennessee State meet


Haley Ward (18:41) & Nicole Gardner (18:52) went 1 – 2 in Nashville. 


                                                                Georgia State Championship


Grace Tinkey, a Foot Locker national finalist, intends to return to San Diego but first things first and she accordingly took care of business at her State meet.  Her time of 17:59 gave her almost a minute margin over her First Presbyterian team mate Victoria Coppage.   It was Grace’s second state title and Josh Breckell secured his second State trophy as well with his time of 15:40.


                                                                Mid-week action in California


At the South Coast finals Trabuco Hills edged San Clemente and Melissa Eisele won the title again with 16:55 (3M).   Kevin Durham led the guys with 14:29. Nick Plumb (14:31) & Jared Hazlett (14:33) earned 2nd & 3rd respectively.


Molly Babcock of Woodbridge secured the Pacific Coast league title by setting the pace all the way & coming home in 16:33.  Second place went to Ashlee Powers of Corona Del Mar, who ran 16:37.  The top runners & teams qualify for the CIF.    Dragan Simic, also from Woodbridge, won the boys’ title with 14:43.  His teammate Brandon Ferguson earned 2nd in 14:46 & Blake Myers earned third with 14:54.


The Foothills team placed three runners in the top six to secure the Century league title but the individual victory went to Julia Lipson of El Modena, who ran 17:31.  Jessica Cushing-Murray of Foothill finished second in 17:39.    Amar Dholakia of Esperanza topped the guys with his time of 14:41, while Cody Nguyen of Brea Olinda ran 14:49 in second to edge Jeff Little of Villa Park by a tenth of a second.                        

Marina Hollander lost to Lauren Hollander at the Orange County championship but their return match in the Sunset finals saw Marina triumph with a mark of 17:15, as her rival followed three seconds later.   Kylie Nishisaka placed third in 18:01 and also earned a trip to CIF.